Produced by Dori Smith at WHUS, FM 91.7, a Pacifica Affiliate station at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
Download at Pacificaâs Audioport or at Archive.org and Radio4all.net
MidEast Scholar and Yale Law School JD candidate Darryl Li, joins us to talk about his article in Middle East Report online, âDisengagement and the Frontiers of Zionism.â
In his piece that appeared February 16, 2008 Darryl Li comments: âTalk about the âhumanitarian crisisâ should not distract us from Israelâs policy of treating Gaza like an animal pen: a space of near total confinement whose wardens are concerned primarily with keeping those inside alive and tame, with some degree of mild concern as to the opinions of neighbors and other outsiders. The needs, aspirations and rights of 1.4 million human beings have been reduced to an exercise in counting calories, megawatts and other abstract, one-dimensional units measuring distance from death.â
Darryl Li is a doctoral candidate in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies at Harvard University and a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School. He has worked in Gaza for Human Rights Watch, B tselem (the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. He is author of 'Disengagement and the Frontiers of Zionism' Middle East Report Online Feb. 16, 2008.
This weekâs show produced the week of Thanksgiving 2008 is dedicated to the worldâs hungry, and we will be focusing on the people of Gaza who are struggling to survive with limited food, water, electricity and medical supplies, due to an Israeli blockade. We also dedicate the show to my Dad, David Truskoff, who has long been concerned about Palestinian rights. Seasons Greetings Dad! Over more than five decades that I know of Dad has struggled to communicate with friends and in particular, fellow Jews, about the 60 year long Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Often his friends would agree with his anti Vietnam War or much later his anti Iraq War views, only to disagree bitterly about complaints about Israelâs militancy toward Palestinians. During the 1980s my father survived a bout with Hodgkin's Disease, a form of cancer that is treatable with radiation and or chemotherapy. Such care is not available in Gaza under conditions of the blockade.
We hear a portion of Clancy Chassayâs interview with a Palestinian woman named Karima who is suffering from Hodgkin's Disease and is unable to receive lifesaving chemotherapy. Karima explains to Clancy Chassay that she does not believe the people of Gaza deserve to suffer because of differences with Israel over Hamas. Doctors had given the woman six months to live.
Karima spoke with Chassay six months ago as she was surrounded by five small children, her mother looked on and told Chassay that treatment could have cured her daughter already but the check point into Israel for that care was closed.
There has been little media attention in the US about what is happening to the people of Gaza. Granted, Americans are also suffering. In fact, Elizabeth Williamson writes in the Washington Post that the economic crisis in America has left many people out of work and struggling to make ends meet. This Thanksgiving Holiday season finds twelve percent of Americans having trouble putting food on the table. Thatâs 35 million people, and another eleven million reported going hungry at times according to a US Department of Agriculture report on food security.
But there is general agreement in the US that something should be done to correct the problem. President Elect Barack Obama has initiated a downplayment plan for Americans that will provide jobs, however he has not yet announced a plan that will prevent further loss of life for Palestinians or Israelis, and promote a lasting peace in the region. Obama has yet to announce a plan that would help save Palestinian or Israeli lives and create a lasting peace.
We hear from U.N. spokesman Chris Gunness speaking to Robert Berger of VOA news November 15th 2008:
âOf course Israel has legitimate security concerns and we respect that and we respect the right and indeed the obligation of Israel to take action,â said Gunness.
But Gunness said that is not a justification for cutting off food supplies, and he demanded that the borders reopen immediately.
âLetâs see this for what it is. Fifty-six percent of the Gaza Strip are children. Let us not cause suffering of innocent children,â said Gunness. (Robert Berger reported from
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